View Full Version : Cracking in Joints during PT

02-27-2009, 21:10
I have been training in anticipation of my enlistment and I am noticing cracking and catching in some of my joints lately. Mainly my shoulders and hips. No pain, swelling, redness et cetera, just a lot of new noises. I wanted an outside opinion on whether this is a "normal" occurrence or an early warning sign that I may be doing something wrong.

I should say that this level of exercise is not a huge change in my output, I have been very active most of my life. However, I am definitely new to fitness through exercise. My fitness so far in life has been achieved and maintained through manual labor rather than weight training.

My exercise routine consists mostly of various types of push-ups, pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, running and rucking. I believe I am being careful not to over do it, slowly coming along while watching my diet and getting rest.

Thanks for any advice or experience anyone may have.

02-27-2009, 21:13
If mine didnt crack and pop I would be worried.

If there isnt any pain/swelling/loss in range of motion or strength then I wouldnt worry too much about it. Mine have made noise since I can remember.


Blitzzz (RIP)
02-27-2009, 23:27
These crackling and poping are usually short lived while you sre "building". Muscle tendon and ligaments all need to strengthen. However the Muscle is "fed" first then the tendon and lastly the ligaments. Ergo, your muscles will grow more capilaries and feed faster yet and get much stronger than the Connective tissue. The results are minor changes in joint tensions and small shifts in alignment causing some tendon sliding outside it's anatomical groves and this will first bind and then slip or "POP" (many of then many pops) Space changes in the joints due to increased sizes of muscles will trap tiny pockets of air that get compressed with movement and make the popping sound. It called gas exchange, and it's the same as POPPing you knuckles. When you pop your knuckles it the same thing. As you muscle and connective tissues balance, adapt to bulk and alignment changes the noises will subcide. Unlike us older where the crackling is due to wear and tear of the cartilage material in the joints.
If I'm too wordy then just Bulk up slower and allow the connective too grow with the Muscle. Blitzzz

02-28-2009, 11:59

As surgicalcric mentioned if you are still strong and there is no pain, its likely nothing to be worried about. I often have athletes ask me why their joints crack and the first thing I ask them is if its painful, they feel weakness, and can they still move through a normal range of motion. I also get a short history from them. You mentioned you are more or less used to physical labor as employment. Many times the cracking/popping (crepitus) is caused from simple wear and tear on the joints resulting from physical activity over the years. For example, I played baseball from the time I was 6 until around 20 and from the repetitive throwing and squating (catcher) my shoulder and my knees crack through the range of motion. With just the information you gave I would suspect your activities at work and just normal wearing has resulted in the cracking. Just an example of the wear and tear blitzz mentioned.

To shorten up, I tell the athletes if its not painful, they are still strong, and have a normal range of motion, we wont worry about the cracking.


02-28-2009, 23:40
Crip, Blitzzz, Milon,

Thanks for your advice and confirmation.

I will keep my PT routine as is, while maintaining awareness of any pain, swelling, weakness or loss of range of motion.